Thursday, June 15, 2006

Old and crotchety

I was fortunate enough last night to take in a great show at BB King's featuring the Revolting Cocks and Ministry.

It's been about 15 years since RevCo stuff has been played live and although only two of the band's original members performed (Luc Van Acker and, of course, Al Jourgensen), it was really sweet to hear some of the old tunes from these gents, some of the godfathers of industrial sleaze. The band was incredibly tight and very, very loud. There was no pit to speak of, however. Surprising, but not overly disappointing. I would more than make up for it (more on that later). RevCo ended off their set with an extended version of their take on Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", which included a call for "all the hot New York girls" to come and join them on stage. The chicks were more than willing to oblige and suddenly the band was surrounded by about 20 marginally hot hotties (with some exceptional exceptions). Great way to go out. Uncle Al then made us wait for about half an hour before retaking the stage in his Ministry guise.

And it was worth the wait.

First let me talk about the current touring lineup of the band: the ever-present Al Jourgensen on vocals and guitar; Tommy Victor of Prong also on guitar; Paul Raven of Killing Joke, Godflesh, and a million other bands on bass; Joey Jordison of Slipknot on drums; and some bit players I was not familiar with.

Suffice to say that this lineup kicks serious butt.

Uncle Al will reach into the crowd and rip off your face.

They tore through a couple of tracks off their latest album, Rio Grande Blood, the pit bursting to life within the first few measures of the opening title track. The band also graced us with several older numbers as well, including "N.W.O." and "Thieves" (always a fave).

And the pit raged throughout. And here's where I begin my commentary.

In the prime of my moshing days, there was not a pit I couldn't clear. I've lived through GWAR, Godflesh, Rancid, Rammstein, and a million other pits and always managed to keep up and stay relatively injury free, the exception being a nose that's been broken twice; not that you'd notice.


Last night I just didn't seem to have it.

Granted there were several factor involved. First, the floor was wet, which is always scary, as it tends to cause slippage, which tends to cause you to end up on the floor, which tends to end up with you getting your head stepped on. Second, there were a fair number of younger guys who didn't know what the mosh is all about. One does not throw fists and kicks in the pit. It's not about that. Then again, I'm probably just an old school pussy. Third, and perhaps most sobering, is that I'm just not as resilient (or foolhardy, for that matter) as I used to be.

Yep. Age may be catching up with me. I'm not capable of the Herculean pit feats I pulled off when I was 24. Granted, while I'm a good deal bigger and stronger, the endurance and pure recklessness just aren't as prevalent as they were 12 years ago. Perhaps I am a fine wine, mellowing with age.

All this being said, I still had a great time. I didn't get hurt, save for some scratches, and I bonded with a couple of other maniacs, included one extremely cool dude who was just as old school as me (arms at your sides with elbows slightly up; bounce off your neighbors). We had a short, between-song conversation about how pits just aren't the same any more.

I was waiting for the guys from the Smithsonian to come and put up exhibit signs around us. "Presenting an anthropological study of mosh pit culture, featuring these two fossils found trapped in a rare combination of old beer, fake blood, and Joey Ramone's spit."

Anyway, the show was a blast and I had an amazing time. Just not as filled with as much youthful exuberance as usual.

The following items are featured on today's menu:

Gary Numan - 1978-1983
(two discs of prime new wave from a man who should have been a god in the US)

Tom Waits - Bad News Out Of A Pretty Mouth
(two discs from the master of off-kilter)

Panzerchrist - Soul Collector
(sprechen sie death metal?)

DJ Krush - Zen
(you've got a very soft vision of art)


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